Morning Report: Has it Been a Bad Year for Injuries in the Minors?

The Altoona Curve placed Brandon Waddell on the disabled list on Thursday night. It was his second trip to the DL this year and it adds on to what has seemed like a busy year for injuries to prospects. Going by our 2017 Prospect Guide, here are the players who have missed time this year, either on the DL or in Extended Spring Training. This doesn’t include Kevin Newman, who returned quickly from getting hit in the face with a pitch for the second time in his pro career.

2. Mitch Keller – Has been out with back tightness since leaving his start on May 16th.

6. Cole Tucker – Fractured his thumb last week.

10. Gage Hinsz – Didn’t go on the DL, but was out for ten days last month due to shoulder soreness.

11. Nick Kingham – Spring Training ankle injury caused him to miss a month of the season.

25. Stephen Alemais – Hand injury has had him out for three weeks.

26. Brandon Waddell – Forearm tightness cost him four weeks and a forearm strain has him on the DL again.

29. Barrett Barnes – Spring Training hamstring injury caused him to miss the first six weeks of the season.

32. JT Brubaker – Blister on right index finger cost him a start and limited his innings after returning.

36. Jin-De Jhang – Oblique injury cost him six weeks of the season and most of Spring Training.

39. Adrian Valerio – Facial injury from thrown ball last week will likely cost him three weeks total.

41. Casey Sadler – Recovery from Tommy John had him in Extended Spring Training for the first six weeks.

46. Cam Vieaux – Along with West Virginia starter James Marvel, who was considered for our top 50, both pitchers went on the disabled list at the same time last month with minor injuries. Vieaux went 12 days without pitching, Marvel went 16 days between starts.

The list is 13 out of 47 players total, with it being three short of 50 due to the Frank Duncan trade, the Lisalverto Bonilla waiver loss and the return of Rule 5 pick Tyler Webb to the Yankees. It probably feels like a high number, but that seems about average (maybe 2-3 too high), plus the injury issues the Pirates have tend to get mixed in with the thinking. You hear an injury mentioned and it’s a case where it feels like they are piling up even though they are spread out over five teams.

As for me, it always feels like there are a lot of injuries, because I hear about the ones in the DSL and Extended Spring Training, as well as track every DL trip in the transactions section listed below. I found out yesterday that Jason Stoffel has been at Pirate City and isn’t close to returning, but most people probably forgot he signed with the Pirates since he got hurt during the first couple days of Spring Training. There were also players like Scooter Hightower, who got hurt during Spring Training, but he’s back now, so when he’s with a short-season team in a couple weeks, it doesn’t feel like he missed any time.

Basically, what I’m saying is that your level of interest in the minors dictates how bad the injury situation feels. If you only notice the big names, maybe it doesn’t feel that bad this year. If you remember Albert Baur and Victor Fernandez going down with injuries days apart back in April, then Kevin Krause getting hurt shortly afterwards, you probably consider this a bad year. As bad as it is for those people in the second group, I’m sure I could make it worse if I mentioned every minor injury I hear down at Pirate City or in the Dominican.


Bradenton trails in their division by 1.5 games with ten games remaining in the first half. They do not play first place Palm Beach again during the first half.

West Virginia trails their division leader by six games, with ten games left in the first half. They are in fifth place.


Source: FanGraphs


Today’s Starter and Notes: The Pittsburgh Pirates lost 7-1 to the Miami  Marlins on Thursday night. The Pirates will send Tyler Glasnow to the mound tonight. He allowed four runs over five innings against the Mets in his last start. In six home starts, he has a 6.58 ERA. The Marlins with counter with former Pirate Vance Worley, who has a 6.59 ERA in 13.2 innings. He has made three starts and one relief appearance.

In the minors, Nick Kingham will make his fifth start since joining Indianapolis. He went just 4.1 innings in his last start, which was his shortest outing this season. Alex McRae threw seven shutout innings in his last start. Bradenton starter Taylor Hearn is tied for third in the Florida State League with 65 strikeouts. Cam Vieaux gave up a total of seven earned runs in his last two starts. In his first seven starts of the season, he allowed a total of six runs.

MLB: Pittsburgh (26-34) vs Marlins (26-33) 7:05 PM
Probable starter: Tyler Glasnow (6.97 ERA, 29:49 BB/SO, 50.1 IP)

AAA: Indianapolis (32-27) @ Columbus (28-31) 7:15 PM (season preview)
Probable starter: Nick Kingham (3.63 ERA, 8:22 BB/SO, 22.1 IP)

AA: Altoona (32-25) vs Richmond (24-34) 7:00 PM (season preview)
Probable starter: Alex McRae (3.19 ERA, 14:35 BB/SO, 65.0 IP)

High-A: Bradenton (34-23) @ Dunedin (29-30) 6:30 PM (season preview)
Probable starter: Taylor Hearn (4.18 ERA, 19:65 BB/SO, 51.2 IP)

Low-A: West Virginia (27-29) vs Greensboro (31-26) 7:05 PM (season preview)
Probable starter: Cam Vieaux (2.26 ERA, 9:29 BB/SO, 51.2 IP)

DSL: Pirates (3-2) vs Indians (1-4) 10:30 AM (season preview)


Here is a strikeout from Jameson Taillon on Wednesday night. Video includes the full at-bat.


6/8: Brandon Waddell placed on disabled list.

6/8: Brandon Cumpton assigned to Bradenton.

6/8: Pirates recall Dovydas Neverauskas. Johnny Barbato optioned to Indianapolis.

6/7: Francisco Cervelli placed on disabled list. Jacob Stallings added to Pirates.

6/7: Tomas Morales assigned to Indianapolis. Zane Chavez activated from Altoona disabled list.

6/5: Casey Sadler promoted to Indianapolis. Dan Runzler placed on disabled list.

6/4: Cole  Tucker placed on disabled list. Daniel Arribas added to Bradenton roster.

6/2: Pirates designate Alen Hanson for assignment. Recall Max Moroff and Phil Gosselin.

6/2: Adrian Valerio placed on disabled list. Andrew Walker added to West Virginia.

6/2: Jameson Taillon assigned to Indianapolis on rehab.

6/1: Gift Ngoepe optioned to Indianapolis

6/1: Brett McKinney assigned to Indianapolis

5/31: Anderson Feliz added to Indianapolis roster. Brett McKinney assigned to Morgantown.

5/30: Chris Stewart placed on disabled list. Pirates recall Elias Diaz.

5/30: Jackson Williams promoted to Indianapolis. Tomas Morales added to Altoona roster.

5/30: Trae Arbet added to West Virginia roster. Andrew Walker assigned to Morgantown.


Three former Pittsburgh Pirates players born on this date, and two of them spent 11 seasons with the Pirates. Lost with the other two players born on this date, Julio Gotay played infield for the Pirates during the 1963-64 seasons and he was part of a big trade that sent Dick Groat to the Cardinals in November of 1962.

Dave Parker was born on this date in 1951. He was a 14th round draft choice of the Pirates in 1970 and played for the team from 1973 until 1983 when he left via free agency. Parker hit .305 with 166 homers in 1,301 games for the Pirates. During his time in Pittsburgh, he won the 1978 NL MVP, made four All-Star teams and won three Gold Glove awards. You can read a full bio of Parker here.

Also born on this date, Bill Virdon, who played for the Pirates from 1956 until 1965, then returned briefly in 1968. He played 1,415 games for the Pirates, the 11th most all-time. Virdon hit .266 during his time in Pittsburgh and won a Gold Glove in 1962. He drove in five runs during the 1960 World Series. You can read a full bio on Virdon here.

  • Boy, if the Cobra would’ve laid off the nose candy, could have been one of the best. Victim of the times, and drugs, of course.

  • rickmontgomery
    June 9, 2017 3:15 pm

    I saw Virdon at Spring Training in, I believe, 1988, when Barry Bonds was just starting to emerge. The two got into a rather heated argument. Virdon was pushing 60 by then and, I think, could have beaten Bonds (or anyone else for that matter) to a pulp. What a physical specimen the man was. Former Marine and able to run the young players into the ground.

  • Pirates since 2nd half of last season: 58-74 (-71) Since last Sept: 37-51 (-65) What a mess. Let the open auditions for the youth begin. Hopefully Hurdle won’t sit guys like Moroff and Osuna on the pine. With the future OF set at Polanco, Marte, Meadows, and having Osuna and Frazier that need AB, I hope Cutch hits about .350 from now until deadline. Not that his value has free fallen because I’m sure some team will roll the dice and give up a decent package, but a Cutch with an .830 ops is a lot more appealing than a Cutch with a .730 OPS.

    This is hard to watch when you think back to a 98 win team just two years ago. We talk so much about their minor league depth on here but 5 of their best vets: Marte, Cutch, Kang, Cole, and Watson have ruined them. Anyone who thinks that a change at the top isn’t in order to shake things up and put everyone on notice is out of their mind.

  • Fire Hurdle!

  • If you remember Albert Baur and Victor Fernandez going down with injuries days apart back in April, then Kevin Krause getting hurt shortly afterwards, you probably need a good hobby.

    Bless you for tracking all this for us, John!

    • John Dreker
      June 9, 2017 11:39 am

      You should bless me for not setting off panic a month ago with what happened in Extended ST, which turned out to be three very minor things and extreme caution on the Pirates side. Turned out to be something not even worth reporting, but for 2-3 days the potential was there for a depressing injury update article from Pirate City

      • Patience and discretion from a journalist? That still exists?

        • John Dreker
          June 9, 2017 12:09 pm

          What helps is that no one else reports from Pirate City, so there is no rush to get info out there. If you remember the John Pomeroy TJ surgery. I knew about it five days before it happened, but waited almost ten days afterwards so I could talk to him first before posting the article. Sometimes I hate sitting on a story, but rarely does it backfire.

  • Is it possible Hurdle needs to go on the DL. Then maybe he can do some rehab starts in the minors.

    • Hurdle really sucked last night….oh wait, that was Gerrit cole and our offense.

      • Obviously Hurdle isn’t the one executing the plays, but he is the manager. I think he’s a good coach, but his in game decisions haven’t increased the Pirates chances of winning.